Notebook: Injury and suspension updates

The Gators spent all of fall camp trying to get offensive lineman Jon Halapio and running back Matt Jones back on the field. With more clarity on the status of the two, Florida learned over the weekend that starting right tackle Chaz Green (labrum) will need surgery on Wednesday that will keep him out for the 2013 season. It will bring shuffling up front for the Gators.

Chaz Green originally suffered the labrum injury on Tuesday in practice, but it wasn't expected to be serious. The coaches held him out and felt like he would be fine with rest, but the MRI came back on Friday afternoon, showing that the redshirt junior would need surgery that would end his season.

After an inconsistent 2012 season while playing with an ankle injury, Green was starting to play his best football at Florida.

"Chaz was playing his best football, was playing extremely well," Will Muschamp said Monday morning. "He certainly had solidified himself at the right tackle spot."

Since taking the job at Florida, Muschamp has turned around the depth at the line of scrimmage. The Gators added depth through recruiting and transfers, and it will be put to the test in the early part of the season.

Right guard Jon Halapio (pec) is expected to return against Tennessee on September 21.

"We do have depth on the offensive line," Muschamp said. "We still feeling good at right tackle -- Tyler Moore, Trenton Brown. Tyler took all the reps during the spring when Chaz was out with the ankle."

Without Green or Halapio, the Gators will open the season against Toledo on Saturday with an offensive line of left tackle D.J. Humphries, left guard Max Garcia, center Jonotthan Harrison, right guard Kyle Koehne and right tackle Tyler Moore. Muschamp noted that the jumbo package that became key to Florida's offense last season can still be used with the depth on the line early in the year.

Muschamp ruled running back Matt Jones out for Saturday's season opener, but the news is still good for the sophomore. Muschamp said on Monday that he "certainly" expects Jones to be available when Florida travels to face Miami on September 7. He will get bloodwork done on Monday that could put him on the practice field early this week.

Florida started school last week, and once classes start, the NCAA acclimation period is no longer an issue. Jones can practice in full pads on his first day.

SUSPENSION REDUCED: Antonio Morrison was originally suspended for two games after being arrested twice this season, but Muschamp announced on Monday that the sophomore linebacker would have his suspension reduced to one game. He will play when the Gators face Miami next weekend.

"After a thorough review of Antonio Morrison's situation and how he has handled his punishment, I'm going to suspend him for this game only," Muschamp said. "I just don't feel like his actions warranted a two-game suspension."

Muschamp watched Morrison throughout the fall to see how he handled himself in practice. The decision came from the sophomore showing maturity.

"I think he's remorseful about the whole situation," Muschamp said. "We've moved forward. Guys make mistakes and have poor judgment at times. I'm just disappointed with how the whole night was handled."

NEW PREGAME TRADITION: Mr. Two Bits won't be leading the crowd in cheers before Saturday's home opener, but the Gators are implementing a new tradition. Muschamp announced that a "Gator celebrity" would lead the crowd in the Two Bits cheer before the team takes the field.

Saturday's selection will be Errict Rhett. While it won't always be a football player that leads the crowd, Muschamp is excited for Rhett's energy on the field.

"Errict Rhett will be the first guy to do that, certainly a passionate guy with a lot of energy," Muschamp said. "You talk to him on the phone, he's almost going to come through the phone on you there. He's excited about it."

Fightin Gators Top Stories